The Guidance covers clarity and content of communications throughout the process, service standards for dealing with customers and setting up their policies and a template for the wake-up letter issued 4 to 6 months before retirement.
Nigel Barlow, head of research at Just Retirement commented: “We welcome the publication of this guide following the work done by the ABI to improve the quality of wake-up letters before retirement. Our own customer research discovered a higher level of understanding and motivation to shop around for the best income from the ABI draft letter than from the alternatives currently sent to consumers. We would encourage adoption of this format by all providers seeking to improve outcomes for their customers at retirement.
“We are particularly pleased to see guidance on communication to those who are within 5 years of retirement, including informing customers that they will need to decide on when and how to take their income. Earlier engagement with their pension will enable scheme members to cope with changes and consider their options in plenty of time to avoid a last-minute panic. This issue is assuming increasing importance throughout the UK pensions arena with the gradual demise of defined benefit schemes. Utilising the effort made by TPAS, the FSA and IFAs is a valuable step to securing better pensions for many people.”